Undefeated WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez will make the first defense of his title, against “The Pride of Providence” Peter Manfredo Jr.at Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas on Saturday, November 19 .
The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark®, beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
"It is good to see the Pride of Mexico, Julio César Chávez Jr., return to the ring to defend his world middleweight championship that he won when he dethroned Sebastian Zbik in Los Angeles,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum."Houston has a rich and meaningful boxing tradition. We are delighted that Julio’s first defense against Peter Manfredo, Jr. will take place at Reliant Arena."
“It was always my dream to win a world championship and I accomplished that in my last fight when I beat Zbik. Now I want to be more than just a world champion. I want to be a world champion for the rest of my career,” said Chávez. “I am taking my first title defense very seriously and I couldn’t be happier to be making it in front of the great boxing fans of Houston.”
“I am very excited about getting the opportunity to fight Chávez. He is a world champion and I followed his father growing up, so this fight is very special to me,” said Manfredo “I have a lot of respect for him as he is the world champion. This is a great opportunity for me and also great opportunity for the fans as this is going to be a great fight. I am going to be prepared 100% to win and bring this belt home to Rhode Island. Winning this fight for me is everything. If I lose this fight I am done with boxing. I see this as my last opportunity, and I don’t plan on letting it pass me by. I know I am in for a tough fight but it’s a winnable fight and I am very confident I will do just that.”
“Peter is a warrior and he is very strong at 160,” said Lou DiBella, Manfredo’s promoter. “He will propose a serious threat to Chavez Jr. in what we expect to be an exciting fight. Conceivably Peter could return to Providence with Chavez’ title belt."
Chávez Jr. (43-0-1, 30 KOs), of Culiacan, México, making his first appearance in Houston since 2004, is the son of Mexico’s greatest fighter Julio César Chávez. Chávez, 25, took up the “family business” in 2003, winning a four-round decision in his professional debut. Eight years later, the reigning WBC middleweight champion and superior gate attraction is poised to make his own mark in the boxing world. He took a major step toward that goal by enlisting legendary trainer Freddie Roach to take him to the next level.Their first fight together was a gigantic success, winning the vacant WBC silver middleweight with a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over top-10 contender John Duddy (29-1, 18 KOs), in June 2010 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. After successfully defending that title on January 29, winning a unanimous decision over Billy Lyell, Chávez Jr. became the second family member to win a world title, by dethroning undefeated WBC middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik via majority decision. The June 4 slugfest took place at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles just a few blocks north of the Olympic Auditorium where the legendary Julio César Chávez won his first world title.
Manfredo (37-6, 20 KOs), of Providence, RI, first earned worldwide attention with his runner-up finish on NBC’s “The Contender” during the television show’s debut season in 2005.
The son of former world kickboxing champion Peter Manfredo, Sr., Manfredo made his pro debut in 2000 after an outstanding amateur career.Before competing on “The Contender” Manfredo’s professional resume featured impressive victories over former world champion Frankie Randall, via a seventh-round knockout; top-10 contender Ian Gardner, tagging him with his first professional loss; Sherwin Davis for the vacant NABO junior middleweight title; and a lopsided decision over Anthony Bonsante in his first NABO title defense.
Following his stint in “The Contender,” Manfredo went undefeated in 2006 and earned a shot at undefeated WBO super middleweight champion in 2007. Though unsuccessful in his challenge the experience was invaluable to Manfredo. He enters this fight riding a two-year-six-bout winning streak, which has included NABF and IBO middleweight title victories over Matt Vanda and Angel Hernandez, respectively. Manfredo, 30, is currently world-rated No. 4 by the WBC.
October 13, 2011